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Freedom of Expression

Question for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office

UIN HL8996, tabled on 9 October 2020

To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they support the free expression of will on the status of (1) Nagorno-Karabakh, (2) Scotland, (3) Hong Kong, and (4) Crimea, by those who live there.

Answered on

22 October 2020

Scotland regularly elects representatives to one of the most powerful devolved administrations in the world, as well as to the Parliament of the United Kingdom. The people of Scotland voted decisively to remain part of the UK in 2014 and the UK Government is committed to upholding and respecting that decision.

We consider that the Basic Principles for a settlement proposed by the Minsk Group co-chairs provide the basis for a reasonable compromise in this regard, taking due account of the relevant OSCE principles governing relations between member-states. This includes the return of territories surrounding Nagorno-Karabakh to Azerbaijani control and future determination of the final legal status of Nagorno-Karabakh through a legally binding expression of will.

Our position on Hong Kong is clear. The UK handed sovereignty for Hong Kong back to China in 1997 under the terms of the legally binding Sino-British Joint Declaration. We expect China to uphold Hong Kong's high degree of autonomy and rights and freedoms as provided for in the Joint Declaration.

The UK, in common with the majority of the international community, does not recognise the 16 March 2014 Crimea referendum or its outcome as legitimate or of any credibility or value. UN General Assembly resolution 68/262 affirms Ukraine's territorial integrity and underscores the invalidity of the illegal referendum.